Below are some suggested custody stipulations for inclusion into a formal custody agreement. These were written with a Joint Custody situation in mind, but could as easily be used in a Sole custody arrangement as well.
NoTE: Keep in mind that this is a GENERAL format- you'll almost certainly want to tailor some of the specifics to fit your situation.
That joint legal responsibility for and joint physical responsibility for said child, [name of child], be ordered. Mother and Father shall share and participate in the joint legal responsibility for and joint physical responsibility for said child. The parents shall share custody of said child as set forth below:
Said child shall reside with [Father/Mother] from 8:00a.m. Friday until 9:00 a.m. on Sunday and reside with [Father/Mother] from 9:00 a.m. Sunday until 8:00 a.m. on Friday. The [Father/Mother] shall have visitation time set forth on Tuesday and Thursday as after school until 9:00 p.m. Parent commencing his/her custodial week is to provide the transportation for said child which he/she may delegate to a responsible adult. The [Father/Mother] shall provide transportation for said child during visitation periods. Pick-up of said child is to occur at the resident of the other parent or said child's school.
That the attached Holiday and Vacation schedule be ordered. The parent receiving said child for their summer vacation, special days or holidays shall provide the transportation for said child, which he or she may delegate to a responsible adult. The pick-up-from and delivery-to location of said child shall be at the residence of the other parent, or said child's school. CONFLICTS CLAUSE: Summer vacations prevail over Special days and Holidays, which in turn prevail over regular periods of custody.
The parent with whom said child is staying shall be responsible for daily care and shall make necessary decisions regarding said child's education (selection of school said child attends academic pursuits at school, signing of report cards, after-school activities in which he/she participates, etc.), cultural and artistic training, non-emergency health treatment (all major medical decisions, dental, psychiatric, cosmetic surgery, body piercing, tattooing or other care, etc.), and general welfare (acquisition of passport, changing of name, signing of contracts on behalf of said child signing of driver's license, etc.) shall be made by the prior written consent of both parties or further order of the Court.
It is expressly understood that the enumerated times that each parent shall be with said child and responsible for his/her care are subject to modifications by mutual agreement. Flexibility in child care responsibilities and involvement are to be encouraged, and the terms of this agreement are to be liberally interpreted to allow said child the maximum benefit to be derived from the love, concern, and care for both Mother and Father.
Each party shall see that the medical, surgical, dental, and school records for said child will be available and accessible to both parties.
Neither parent should be allowed to move the child's residence beyond a twenty mile radius without prior consent. Should either party change residences so that he or he/she no longer lives in the same school district, or if either party changes job patterns, every effort shall be made to facilitate the continued exercise of joint custody, so that said child continues to enjoy the benefit of both parents in as close to equal time proportions as practicable, taking into consideration, among other factors, the needs and developmental stage of said child. The parents shall have due regard for the preference of said child and the environment and care which each parent can provide.
Each party shall be entitle to reasonable telephonic communication with said child, including, but not limited to, two (2) ten-minute telephone calls per week. Each parent, step-parent, or live-in mate is restrained from unreasonably interfering with said child's right to privacy during such telephone conversations, or from listening on an extension telephone or any type of telephonic listening or recording device. In order to facilitate telephone contact between the parties and their child, all parties are ordered to initiate and assist their child in immediately returning phone messages, attempting telephone contact with their child, from the other parent.
In the event, that the parent returning said child from a court ordered visitation or custodial period, finds that the parent receiving said child is not at the designated child return location, at the court ordered child return time, then the parent returning said child shall wait at least 20 minutes past the court ordered return time of said child, before leaving. Also, before leaving, the parent returning said child shall leave a large note, in plain sight on the other parent's front door, stating that he/she was there, the time he/she arrived, and the time he/she departed. Said note shall contain the signature of the parent returning said child, and the signature of at least one (1) adult witness. Parent returning said child should keep a copy of said note as evidence. The time tardy parent that was to receive said child, upon return to their home, is then ordered to provide the return transportation of said child, for this visitation only, which he/she may delegate to a responsible adult.
. Each parent shall permit and encourage communication by the other parent with doctors, clinics, and other health providers regarding said child's health and welfare.
. Each parent shall provide advance notification to the other parent about proposed and forthcoming medical care, and each parent shall notify the other parent within twelve (12) hours of any illnesses requiring medical attention or any medical emergency involving said child.
Petitioner and Respondent shall alternate the Federal and/or State dependency tax deduction with reference to said child. Respondent is awarded the dependency deduction with reference to said child on even-numbered years, and Petitioner is awarded the dependency deduction on odd-numbered years.
In the event that either parent intends to leave said child for a period of twenty-four (24) hours or longer, that parent shall first offer the other parent an opportunity for additional time with said child, before making other arrangements for child's temporary care.
Each party shall provide the other party with the address and telephone number at which said child resides, and shall notify and provide the other party within twenty-four (24) hours of any changes of address and/or telephone number for said child.
Whenever said child will be away from either parent's home for a period of four (4) days or more, that parent shall provide a method of how to contact said child, and shall initiate and facilitate telephone communication between said child and the other parent during, such trips.
All schools, health care providers, day care providers, and counselors shall be selected by the parents jointly. In the event the parents cannot agree to the selection of a school, said child shall attend the local public school.
For the benefit and continuity of said child's education and learning, each parent shall cooperate, follow through, and assist said child with his/her educational programs when he/she is in their custody.
Each parent shall provide the other parent promptly upon being requested to do so, with information concerning the well-being of said child, including, but not limited to, copies of report cards, school meeting notices, vacation schedules, class programs, requests for conferences, results of diagnostic tests, notices of activities involving said child, samples of school work, order forms for school pictures, communications from health care providers, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all of said child's friends and schoolmates, health care providers, regular day care providers, counselors and regular activities, etc.
Except for brief vacations, not to exceed a total of six (6) weeks per parent year, each parent shall be restrained from removing said child from the [name of state] counties of [name(s) of county(s), or from changing said child's residence to a location outside the county of [local city name], without the prior written consent of the other party or further order of the Court.
Each party shall not deny said child visitation with the other parent because said child is being punished, is ill, or refuses to go on the scheduled visitation or custodial period.
Each parent shall allow said child to have liberal visitations with his/her grandparents, maternal and paternal.
That corporal punishment of said minor child, if any, shall be administered only by the natural Mother or the natural Father. Both parties are restrained from allowing step-parents and/or live-in mates to administer corporal punishment to said minor child.
That said child shall attend one of the following schools for kindergarten: [name of preschools(s), or public school located in the city of [local city name] (which is approximately halfway between the homes of the parents). If the parents cannot agree on a school for said child, each parent shall submit to the Court his or his/her choice of school for said child, which school is located in the city of [local city name], for a decision by the Court. Each parent is to pay half of said child's school tuition, and each parent is to provide transportation of said child to and from school when said child is in their custodial care.
Petitioner and Respondent are restrained and enjoined from harassing, annoying, striking, threatening, assaulting, or molesting the other in any manner whatsoever.
Each party, upon receipt of mail or packages addressed to said child from the other parent, shall see to it that such mail is read to or unopened packages are immediately given to said child.